Sciatica is the name for a syndrome which is characterized by pain along the path of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body. It is about the thickness of a finger in certain parts. It travels from your low back, through the hip and buttock, all the way to the knee where it divides into two branches.
The term sciatica is not really a diagnosis. Rather it describes a set of symptoms relating to the sciatic nerve. These symptoms are commonly felt as pain along the path of the sciatic nerve, deep in the buttock and along the back of the leg and even sometimes to the foot. The pain can sometimes be accompanied by pins and needles or numbness and rarely weakness in the leg.
Risk Factors for sciatica include:
- heavy lifting
- prolonged sitting
Given that sciatica is not a diagnosis it is important to find the cause and address this.
Common causes include:
- Disc Bulge
- Degeneration (canal stenosis/osteophytes)
- Piriformis syndrome
Here at CHIRO H3, it is important that we address the cause of your sciatica and not merely the symptoms. In addressing the cause we will often perform tests during your examination to help isolate the problem. We may also send you off for an X-ray and or an MRI to look specifically for the disc issues, spondylolisthesis or degeneration. Once we have established exactly what is going on, we will then develop a plan of attack.
There are many things that can be done to help relieve the symptoms and ultimately address the cause of Sciatica. This may include improving spinal mechanics and function with specific Chiropractic adjustments, stretching and strength exercises as well as postural advice particularly while sitting and sleeping.